A recent survey of foreign business leaders in Cambodia reveals high confidence in the country’s mid-term economic situation and business development opportunities, while warning of challenges in workers’ skills and education.
The 2014 survey, conducted by Indochina Research, contains data from 50 international business leaders. The report found that confidence is greater for the economic situation in the next two to three years (94 percent) than in four to five years’ time (69 percent). But despite concerns, a rise in investment from 2013 indicates a less risk-averse business community. The research also found that 72 percent of respondents have or are planning to invest, an increase from 58 percent in 2013.
Business leaders stated that advantages to working in Cambodia include labour cost, communication, and peace and stability, while challenges mentioned were electricity and public utilities, import taxes and corporate and commercial contract laws (from 2013 research). The survey also revealed that the cost of doing business is a growing concern for foreign businesses in the Kingdom.
The report highlights the lack of adequate worker skills, with 94 percent of respondents stating that university graduates have lower skill levels than necessary for their businesses. According to the report, an increase in regional competition with the onset of the ASEAN Economic Community (AEC) could result in further labour migration.
Looking to 2015, leaders stated that they anticipate business opportunities in the areas of ASEAN integration and the “open sky” policy, manufacturing and downstream processes, and an increase in consumerism.